US confirms trying to ease ME tensions

Israel urged to ease roadblock restrictions; Palestinians warned on terror.

By
May 4, 2007 18:49
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The State Department confirmed Friday that US officials have recommended a series of steps that Israel and the Palestinians could take to ease continuing tensions. "We've circulated some ideas on this," said deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey, commenting on Israeli press reports and statements by the chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, Saeb Erekat. Casey said there were no deadlines for taking the recommended actions. They include calls for Israel to ease the burden on the Palestinian people by removing roadblocks and other barriers to give them better trade and business access, he said. They also call for the Palestinians to ensure that any Israeli moves are not met with an increase in attacks, he added. "These are suggestions and ideas that we have circulated, it's not any kind of formal agreement nor is it something that is being enforced on anybody," he told reporters. He said the measures are related to implementing phase one of the road map peace plan for the region.

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